I had a great time at the theaters this weekend with both Ratatouille (review here and here) and Live Free or Die Hard (review here and here). Both films were equally impressive -- in their own right -- and it comes as no surprise that it would be these two movies that dominated this weekend's box office.
Box Office Report: Ratatouille and Live Free or Die Hard
Though Live Free failed to please the most die hard of Die Hard fans, the film was still able to pull in an estimated $33.2 million over the weekend; it turns out that action buffs love what this film serves -- action. With the help of its Wednesday opening, the total domestic take for this fourth Die Hard installment now comes to $48.2 million.
Impressive, yes, but McClane's five-day take barely beat the three day take of a little rat named Remy. Pixar's Ratatouille was able to pull in $47.2 million over the weekend.
Ratatouille also had the best per-theater average, coming in at $11,987, with Michael Moore's Sicko coming in at second with $10,204. The controversial documentary expanded to 441 screens this weekend, bringing in an estimated $4.5 million.
Though one limited release did well, another did not. Evening, headed by an all-star cast, was only able to take in $3.5 million over the weekend. Focus Features can't give any excuses, as the film played in double the theaters that Sicko did.
Thanks to Ratatouille and Live Free or Die Hard, the box office finally rebounded this weekend -- up 2% from the same frame last year -- after four consecutive weekends of decline.
Pixar should be happy with the win, but they have to wonder what's happening to their audience. Cars, which (in my opinion) isn't nearly as good as Ratatouille is, took in $60.1 million its opening weekend while The Incredibles debuted at $70.5 million in 2004. Hopefully strong word of mouth will help push Ratatouille past Cars before the end of its theatrical run.
In a season filled with sequels, Ratatouille is the first nonsequel since Disturbia to command the top spot.
"We're off to a really, really good start," Buena Vista distribution president Chuck Viane said. "The idea of placing it pre-Fourth of July weekend means we'll have a big weekend this weekend and next."